Sen. Joni Ernst (R, IA) released her new “Squeal Award” report on the massive amount of waste going on with spending of funds that are supposed to go to COVID relief.
Ernst found, for instance, that one Utah County spent its COVID relief cash on making fake snow for kids to go sledding down a hill. In Connecticut, another county wasted its COVID cash to buy Christmas decorations. And in yet another case, A New Jersey town used its COVID money to make thousands of tote bags that they never even used.
Per the Washington Times:
One Utah county spent more than $200,000 of its COVID-19 cash to make snow on a hill for sledding.
Auditors said Uintah County bought six snow guns at $20,000 each, along with snowcats and pipes, and paid $3,000 in shipping costs, all authorized by a single county commissioner. Local politicians told the Uintah Basin Standard they were coming up on a deadline to either use the cash or give it back to the state, so they needed a reason to spend. And they decided on snow.
Sen. Joni Ernst on Monday dedicated her December “Squeal Award,” which highlights ridiculous government waste, to Uintah and other state and local governments that found creative Christmas-style ways to waste COVID-19 money.
That includes Connecticut, where West Haven city officials spent federal coronavirus money on Christmas decorations.
“I have a message for those even thinking of taking advantage of the financial support provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for personal grift and graft: ‘You better watch out! I’m telling you why. Your days of playing Santa with taxpayer dollars are over, so don’t even try!” Ernst said.
“There are too many struggling families and small business owners who are desperately trying to survive while untold amounts are being squandered because of inadequate guidance and oversight,” Ernst added.
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